Jose Miguel Sokoloff: How we used Christmas lights to fight a war | TED | Summary and Q&A

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Jose Miguel Sokoloff: How we used Christmas lights to fight a war | TED

TL;DR

This content discusses how a unique communication strategy using Christmas lights and other methods helped facilitate the demobilization of guerrillas in Colombia.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What is the main problem in Colombia mentioned in the video?

The main problem in Colombia mentioned in the video is the presence of the oldest standing guerrilla in the world, the FARC guerrillas, who have been engaging in kidnapping, extortion, drug trade, illegal mining, terrorism, and random bomb attacks.

Q: How many guerrillas were demobilized through the use of Christmas lights?

Through the use of giant Christmas trees covered with lights in strategic jungle pathways, 331 guerrillas were demobilized, which accounted for approximately five percent of the guerrilla force at the time.

Q: How did the strategy of having demobilized guerrillas share their stories help in the demobilization process?

By recording and broadcasting stories of demobilized guerrillas on radio and television, the strategy aimed to have current guerrillas relate to these stories, potentially inspiring them to leave the guerrilla forces themselves. This approach primarily worked in the lower ranks of the guerrilla groups.

Q: What factor changed the mindset of guerrillas during the peace process?

The peace process shifted the mindset of guerrillas from fearing physical harm to fearing rejection upon leaving the guerrilla group. The video suggests that the peace process made them believe there was a possibility of life beyond guerrilla activities.

Q: How many guerrillas have demobilized since the start of this work?

Since starting this work a little over eight years ago, approximately 17,000 guerrillas have demobilized, highlighting the potential impact of advertising as a powerful tool for bringing about change and promoting peace.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Colombia is a beautiful country with a history of conflict, including guerrilla warfare and terrorism.

  • A communications strategy using Christmas lights and personal stories successfully prompted demobilization of guerrillas, particularly in the lower ranks.

  • Other strategies, such as messages from mothers and using the World Cup as a unifying moment, also encouraged demobilization, resulting in over 17,000 guerrillas demobilizing in the past eight years.

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